BYU-Hawaii has welcomed Edwin Rogers as the newest director of University Housing and Residential Life. Rogers graduated from Dixie College where he served as student body president. He later earned a degree in communications and public relations from BYU in Provo.
According to University Communications, “Prior to coming to Hawaii, Rogers served as the public address announcer for Dixie State University Athletics and was active in his community, including service as chairman of the board for the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce and president of the Red Rock Rotary Club.”
Rogers gave some insight on the changes being made within the housing and residential life department. He also shared his background with family, work and the hopes he has, not only for the Housing Department, but also for the growing student population at BYUH.
Q: What goals do you hope to accomplish for the BYU-Hawaii Housing Department?
A: “Our mission is to provide a clean and safe living and learning environment, enabling students to learn, to grow, to lead and to become perfected in Christ. I want to be able to have open communication with students being housed on and off campus to fulfill the Housing mission statement and to benefit the students.”
Q: What inspired you to take on the position here at BYU-Hawaii?
A: “I enjoy helping the youth of today make the important decisions, like where their living environment will be, finding their eternal companion, where they want to end up, who they want to become. This gives me that opportunity. I am very satisfied in helping students achieve their life-long goals and setting them up for heir futures.”
Q: What do you think makes BYUH different from other universities?
A: “First of all, we are in one of the most beautiful places to live on earth. It’s a unique environment with unique challenges that are dissimilar to what other campuses have on the mainland. It’s an opportunity for me to certainly learn from the leaders here on campus and learn from their experience in helping students meet their goals. It’s a church-based education school rather than a state-run school.”
Q: What expectations do you have this year as the new Housing director?
A: “We are looking to minimize student challenges both with housing and education. We want them to be able to concentrate on their schoolwork and education and not stress so much about a place to live. We want them to be able to focus on their schoolwork rather than trying to find a good living environment.”
Q: How do you feel about this being your first time working at a university with students of such diverse cultural backgrounds?
A: “I lived in Apia, Samoa for the first few years of my life. My father taught for the Church Educational System in Samoa. My father was offered a position at Church College of Hawaii in 1964, which he turned down. So this gives me an opportunity to take on the opportunity and return to the Polynesian community. My grandfather immigrated to the United States from New Zealand and then returned to New Zealand to be married. I still have a lot of family in New Zealand who are not yet part of our church, so there is still work to be done there. I have plenty of cultural family heritage from the Pacific Islands.”
Q: Is there any advice you want to give to the students?
A: Housing is faced with challenges this semester in that we are short on rooms. We would like you to know we are doing all we can to be able to meet the students’ needs and the students housing needs. Bear with us as we are making changes and decisions with a lot of thought, planning, and prayer. Foremost, we’ve taken the students into consideration with every decision we make. They are at the top of the list.”